A note left on the door of Republican senator Dean Heller’s office in Nevada reportedly threatened the life of the lawmaker unless he votes against the GOP healthcare bill in the Senate, law enforcement sources told Jon Ralston of news site The Nevada Independent on Monday.
Police were called to Heller’s office, where they found the note, after a burglary alarm was triggered.
A Las Vegas police source told Ralston that the letter was written by someone claiming they would lose their healthcare and die if the bill, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act, passed and he “would take Heller with him” if the senator voted for it.
Las Vegas Police Department officials have confirmed that they are investigating “a threatening note addressed to Senator Heller,” but have declined to release the contents of the note due to the ongoing investigation.
Heller is seen as a key player in the debate over the healthcare bill and forcefully opposed the original version of the BCRA. He has said he is undecided on the new version of the bill released Thursday.
Heller’s position is especially precarious given the fact he is up for re-election in 2018 in a state that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election. Additionally, Nevada’s popular governor Republican Brian Sandoval has come out repeatedly against the BCRA.
As of Monday, Republican senators Susan Collins and Rand Paul have said they will vote “no” on a key procedural vote that would allow the BCRA to be brought to the floor. Heller’s support is key because if a third GOP lawmaker defects on the bill, it will fail.
Opponents of the bill have raised concerns that the projected increase in the number of people without health insurance due to the rollback of Medicaid funding will lead to deaths. The claim is based on a study that showed Medicaid decreased mortality in enrollees.
The vote will not take place until at least next week as John McCain will remain in Arizona to recover from eye surgery over the weekend.
Here’s the full police statement via the Nevada Independent:
“The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department received a call from an alarm company representative reporting a burglary alarm at the main entrance of an office building where Senator Dean Heller’s office is located. The preliminary investigation by patrol officers determined that a burglary did not occur to the main building or to Senator Heller’s office. However, a threatening note addressed to Senator Heller was discovered near the door to his office. Officers took a report for Threatening or Obscene Letters or Writing (NRS 207.180). The LVMPD has an on-going investigation into this incident.”